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12                        JOUfiNEYS IN PEBSIA           LETTER xvi

pendicularly, and topped by battlements of terra-cotta
rock, which took on vermilion colouring in the sunset
glow. Through this mighty gorge the Elarun finds its
way, a green, rapid willow-fringed stream below the
ridge, and visible higher up for miles here and there in
bottle-green pools, everywhere making sharp turns in its
stupendous bed, and disappearing from sight among huge
piles of naked rock. Even on this splintered ridge, at a
height of 8000 feet, there were tulips, celery in blossom,
mullein, roses, legions of the Fritillaria imperialis, anem-
ones, blue linum, and a wealth of alpine plants.

There also are found in abundance the great um-
belliferous plants—Ferula glauca, Ferula candelabra, and
the Ferula asafcetida. The latter I have never seen else-
where, and was very much rejoiced to procure some of its
" tears," though the odour will cling to my gloves till they
are worn out. Hadji had heard that it is found in one
or two places in the Bakhtiari country, but up to this
time I had searched for it in vain. There also for the
first time I found the Astragalus verus, the gum traga-
canth of commerce. The ordinary tragacanth bush, the
" goat's thorn," the Astragalus tragacantha, which is found
everywhere on the arid hillsides, produces a gummy juice
but no true gum, and its chief value is for kindling fires.

Following up the Duab, through brush of tamarisk,
Hippophae rhamnoides, and Indian myrtle, above the culti-
vated lands, and passing burial mounds with their rude
stone lions with their sculptured sides, we camped in a
valley at the foot of'the Gardan-i-Cherri and Kuh-i-Milli,
close to the powerful spring in the hillside which is the
source of the stream, where there was abundant level ground
for three camps. The next evening Karim, the man who
so nearly lost his arm some time ago, was carried past my
tent fainting, having been severely kicked in the chest by
the same horse that lacerated his arrn. " I am unlucky,"